As many seasoned parents know, more than half the battle in parenting is training ourselves in what to say and what not to say to our children. This applies to everything from training in first-time obedience to getting a child to stay in his room during roomtime. Here I’ll present a few examples of the differences you might see between the trained and the untrained parent.
The untrained parent: freedoms
Mom: “Johnny, do you want ham or turkey on your sandwich today?
Johnny: “I don’t want those. I want peanut butter and jelly.”
Mom: “Johnny, we don’t have any peanut butter. Do you want ham or turkey today?”
Johnny: “I want peanut butter and jelly!!!”
The conversation ends with mom loading Johnny into the car to buy peanut butter or with Johnny throwing a giant tantrum (or both).
The trained parent: freedoms
Mom: “Johnny, it’s lunch time. Go wash your hands and sit down to eat.”
Johnny: “Yes, mommy!”
Notice that Johnny is not given a choice as to what is served for lunch.
The untrained parent: clean-up time
Mom: “Johnny, will you clean up your toys please? It’s almost time for your nap, and we like to keep the house clean. So do mommy a favor, and clean up your toys.”
Johnny: “No! I don’t want to!”
Mom: “Please, Johnny. It would mean so much to mommy. You like to make mommy happy, don’t you?!
Mom: “Johnny, you’re making mommy angry. You don’t want to make me angry, do you? Now I’m going to count to 3 and you’re going to clean up your toys. 1…2…2.5…, Johnny, you better start before I get to 3. Okay… 3.”
Johnny: Spits raspberries at mom.
Mom gets so angry and frustrated that she just puts Johnny down for his nap–and cleans up the toys herself.
The trained parent: clean-up time
Johnny: “Yes, mommy?”
Mom: After making sure Johnny looks her in the eye, “It’s time to clean up your toys now.”
Johnny: “Yes, mommy!”
Johnny picks up his toys.
Those of you with little ones should pay attention to this. It’s when they are babies and young toddlers that you need to start training yourself. Very soon, the day will come when your little one decides to assert some independence. He will realize that he has free will, and, if untrained, he will realize that he doesn’t always have to do what you tell him.
There’s one little–but so important–action that happens in the life of almost every toddler I know. Mom calls the child’s name as she always does. And one day, the child gets a twinkle in his eye and runs in the other direction. After suppressing a laugh, mom will have to decide what she’s going to do about it. This simple little act signifies the end of your training time. Once this happens, the game is on!
If you’ve done little reading or planning, you won’t know what to do with the child when he runs away from you. And if there’s anything I can tell you when it comes to parenting, you don’t want to wing it. Do your reading, have a plan and train yourself to follow that plan!
If you haven’t ready my eBook, Live in Harmony with First-Time Obedience, now is the time! Whether you have a little one who has yet to assert his independence or if you’ve been winging it for a while, this book will set you on the right path to training yourself to achieve obedience and ultimately a life of peace and harmony with your child. It takes some work to train ourselves and the child in first-time obedience, but the payoff is huge and so worth it!